Oklahoma's Mike Edwards continues to show he still has one of the top rides to beat, in the always highly competitive NHRA Pro Stock class, with his latest number one qualifier at Brainerd International Raceway for 29th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
NHRA Pro Stock Driver Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards at Brainerd International Raceway
It was several events ago when Edwards locked down the number one position in the 2010 NHRA Countdown to the Championship, but securing a top spot in the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the 2011 showdown is long from over.
As of late, Mike Edwards and his Penhall/Interstate Batteries/K&N Pontiac GXP has been in a tight battle with fellow competitor, Allen Johnson, both qualifying points and in the regular season Championship.
Due to some weather issues at the Brainerd event, qualifying sessions for all professional and sportsman classes were shortened. Edwards just trailed Johnson by a mere two-thousandths of a second and held on to the number two spot after session number one on Friday.
It was during session two on Saturday that Edwards was able to punch up his way up to the number one spot, greatly improving on his earlier ET by posting a 6.644 and edging out Johnson by a full one-hundredth of a second, who had also improved on his previous number.
During the final session, Edwards was only the second quickest with his 6.657, but thanks to his efforts earlier in the day remained on the pole going into Sunday's eliminations and grabbed all possible qualifying points for the K&N Horsepower Challenge, along with the $3,000 bonus check provided by K&N.
From a close number two position, Edwards continues to eat away at the points lead for the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge, currently held by Allen Johnson, and hopes of competing again in the most coveted single race in all of NHRA Pro Stock where the event champion takes away $50,000.
While the outcome during first round eliminations on Sunday at Brainerd was not what Edwards was looking for, he still proved that his Penhall/Interstate Batteries/K&N Pontiac GXP is one of the top horsepower producing cars on the circuit. His 6.593 at 209.04 MPH effort, both low ET and top speed of the event, were just not enough for, number sixteen qualifier, Rodger Brogdon's 6.647. Brogdon nailed the tree with a .015 to Edward's .089 and held on to his starting line lead by a full six feet at the stripe.
Coming into first round, Edwards was 7-0 against Brogdon but some tracks just seem to plague drivers more than others. One could say the Brainerd is one of those tracks for Edwards and in twelve appearances he has only garnered six round wins.
After Edwards had locked down the number one spot in the Countdown, he had said that he would go into test mode as much as possible with his K&N Pontiac. Now that the points have been reset going into the biggest race on the entire NHRA schedule, The US Nationals, and a mere 110 points separating the top ten, it will soon be time to see if the testing for both the car and the driver pay dividends.
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.